Today’s small business owners are smarter than ever about strategic and tactical marketing. They are becoming more and more comfortable with its cumbersome terminology and are familiar with concepts such as customer “touches”, or contacts.
Unfortunately, however, many small- to medium-sized business owners are spending way too much time concentrating on the frequency of their messages, rather than developing the right message.
For example, how many ads have you seen from dentists who proclaim to give you a “better smile”? Yes, the actual size, orientation, color, graphics and the like may be different, but the message is the same-old-same-old. Have these dentists, then, differentiated themselves and become memorable? The obvious answer is “no”.
However, is any impact better than none at all? Marketing experts and business owners alike often debate this issue. On one hand, even a so-so ad can generate name recognition… an important objective. Alternatively, others argue that poorly-designed marketing communications is at best, weak and at worst, damaging AND memorable.
It is reasonable to expect that a marketing consultant or advertising agency will create a distinctive and positive ad and message every time? Yes. Assuming you’re developing it based on a solid strategic plan.
Also, should you expect that every ad is original in both content and look? Again, yes. Any talented marketing professional can help you create a look, feel and message that achieve both of these objectives.
For example, wouldn’t a dentist’s ad be more memorable if it emphasized the idea that dental procedures – braces, teeth whitening, caps – produce far better results in your overall appearance than above-the-neck plastic surgery?
Here are four great questions to ask yourself as you consider whether the image and message you’re creating will achieve the “bang” you’re looking for:
1. Is your message unique, positive and memorable?
2. How many other companies in your industry communicate the same thing? If your answer is, “None” you’re well on your way!
3. Does your message create an image that fits your company’s personality?
4. Does your message increase the chances of creating the impact you want?
Remember, generating favorable responses to your marketing communications happens when your strategic goals and standards are turned into flawless execution!
Mary Eule specializes in helping small and medium-sized businesses get and keep profitable customers. Formerly a Fortune 500 marketing executive; founder of two successful small businesses and award-winning speaker, Ms. Eule is President of Strategic Marketing Advisors, LLC. and co-author of a new book, “Mandatory Marketing: Small Business Edition". She holds a master degree in marketing from Johns Hopkins University. Log onto http://www.StrategicMarketingAdvisors.com for free articles, newsletter and helpful tools, tips and templates.